GRAND HAVEN — Edgewood Elementary students in Muskegon Heights will find a post-holiday surprise arriving at their door soon when donated school supplies from Media 1 and other local business are delivered later this month.

Several boxes of Scholastic books, notebooks, binder, copy paper, pencils, pens, glue and various other classroom supplies will be donated to Edgewood Elementary after the first phase of the Media 1 collection drive ends on Jan. 18.

Chris F. Willis, CEO of Media 1, initiated the collection after learning of the budget difficulties of the Muskegon Heights Public Schools and discovered that school children in grades 3-6 were going without basic supplies.

“The fact that any child in the U.S. would go wanting for a pencil and a notebook is shocking to me,” Willis said. “We can‘t promise the world, but we hope to make a little positive impact. Media 1 recognizes the importance of helping cultivate our potential future employees — even in simple ways.”

Willis originally heard about the student need through a call to action posted on the Facebook group Muskegon Social Media Tag Team. It was essentially a plea by Sonya Hernandez, Edgewood Elementary principal. Upon hearing of the plight of the Muskegon Heights Public Schools, Willis contacted Hernandez to ask how to adopt a classroom and then set up a school supply drive at her local consultancy business, Media 1. Willis also reached out on Facebook by establishing a public event and page for the Muskegon Heights School Supply Drive, and she helped establish other donation locations in the Muskegon area.

“The kids in Muskegon Heights Public Schools Edgewood Elementary really need our help,” Willis said. “While the district struggles with a huge budget shortfall, the kids are short of basic supplies such as pencils, spiral notebooks, and copy paper.”

While the Media 1 team is adopting one classroom, Willis was quick to point out that her door is open to public donation. Her goals include trying to make donations equal across all approximately 280 students in the three grades. Already, an anonymous donator has contributed several boxes of Scholastic school supplies, workbooks, classroom organization charts, and paper while several Media 1 staff and relatives have added pencils and notebooks. Facebook followers have contributed boxes of notebooks, crayons, and markers. Art supplies and basketball hoops are also welcome.

Principal Hernandez noted that volunteers are also needed to provide a day or two of art, music, or other enrichment activity for students since the schools have had to cut “specials” such as art, music, and physical education. All school volunteers will be subject to a background check.

“This is going to be a difficult period for everyone in the Muskegon Heights Public Schools,” Willis said. “But today‘s students and teachers shouldn‘t pay for mistakes of the past. We want the Muskegon Heights schools to get the help and direction they need. In the meantime, let’s try to make sure the kids have basic supplies while the ‘grown ups’ sort out the budget issues.”

Donations are being accepted through Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the following locations:
* Media 1, 605 Elliott St, Grand Haven (corner of 6th and Elliott, in the former Elliott School building), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday — donation box in lobby
* Tipsy Toad Tavern, 609 W. Western Ave., Muskegon (downtown), lunch and dinner hours daily, late weekends
* Mission for Area People, 2500 Jefferson St., Muskegon Heights, 9 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. daily — leave donations with receptionist
* Bluffton Church, 3320 Thompson Ave., Muskegon — donations accepted Sunday mornings, open between 10 a.m. and noon with 11 a.m. worship service.

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Media 1 provides learning portals for talent mangement—including new employees, leadership, and sales development; performance and curriculum consulting; online classrooms and communities of practice; social, collaborative, and informal learning opportunities; performance support and workflow materials; and Flash animations.


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